the day before the arrival of Pope Francis in the world has been opened youth day of the Catholic Church in Panama.

Panama’s Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta was on Tuesday (local time) in a Holy mass in front of tens of thousands of believers in Panama city for the start of the six-day event with around 150,000 pilgrims from all over the world, including about 2300 in Germany. Francis breaks up only on Wednesday in the Latin American country and is expected to land around 22: 30 CET.

the world youth days held every two to three years. In changing locations, Catholic young people from all over the world get together to celebrate their Faith. The present world youth day is after the events in Buenos Aires (1987) and Rio de Janeiro (2013) the third in Latin America.

For many of the faithful in this Region, the orientation of Mega-Events and the Pope’s visit are occasion for joy. Both, however, cannot obscure the fact that poverty, violence and corruption, the people here make life difficult. Hundreds of thousands try each year to leave the Region in the direction of the USA.

Archbishop Ulloa Mendieta said in his address, the world youth day was an event “for the youth of the existential and geographical peripheries”. He hoped that the world’s active youth day as “a balm for the difficult Situation” of many young people. Many young people lived without hope, and emigrated increasingly, therefore, from their home countries.

But also fight the Church with problems. According to the latest survey by the Latino barometro, only 59 percent of Latinos profess to the Catholic Church. In 1995, there were still 80 percent. Especially the Evangelical free churches, with their ultra-conservative, but often charismatic preachers in Rome the faithful away from.

Pope Francis will be received at the time of his arrival in Panama to Vatican city-information of about 2000 faithful. For the Argentines it is the first trip to the Central American country. According to John Paul II (1920-2005) Pope Francis is the second Pope who visits Panama. In addition to worship services and stations of the cross with the young people also held a Meeting with the bishops of Central America, a visit to a youth prison, as well as the encounter with a young Aids patients on his program.

The global scandals of the sexual abuse of children and young people in Catholic churches and institutions are likely to possibly be on the verge theme. According to the words of the Chairman of the youth Commission of the German bishops ‘ conference, the Passauer Bishop Stefan Oster, will deal with the scandal of the Church without question. He does not stand but in the center of the world youth day. However, Easter said: “I suppose the Pope will address the topic, that should not be hidden.”

dpa